John Piper offers the following ways to know if you are being called during a recent "Ask Pastor John":
I feel called to be a pastor. What sorts of things should I be looking for to confirm this possible calling?
That's a good question.
- 1) Be looking for a strong and continually recurring desire.
- 2) Be looking for some gifts that are needed in pastoral ministry.
- 3) Look for confirmation in other people.
So what that means is that you're leading a small group, you're trying to share the word to encourage people, and people are getting help, and they're telling you so ("That was encouraging!"), and they're coming back. They want to get more. They find your presence to be life-giving rather than life-taking.
When people start to drift away from you rather than being drawn to you to hear or to talk or converse, then that might mean you should think, "Hmm. How can I minister to a congregation if they're not getting help by me?" So the third thing is confirmation.
- 4) Then I would look for circumstances to confirm that sense of calling as well, opportunities that emerge.